What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property allows people and entities to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of intellectual property can control and be rewarded for its use and this encourages further innovation and creativity.
In some cases intellectual property gives rise to protection for ideas but in other areas there must be more elaboration of an idea before protection can arise. It will often not be possible to protect intellectual property and gain intellectual property rights unless they have been applied for and granted. However, some intellectual property protection such as copyright arises automatically, without any registration, as soon as there is a record in some form of what has been created.
The four main types of intellectual property are:
For inventions – new and improved products and processes that are capable of industrial application.
For brand identity – of goods and services allowing distinctions to be made between different traders.
Designs for product appearance
Of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation.
Copyright for material
Literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia.